Frequently Asked Questions
A leading floor cleaning company offering outstanding results in Tile cleaning, Stone Restoration, and Diamond sanding and Polishing.
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Yes, we are open for business. If we can offer each other social distance during the service then we can still offer you the most outstanding floor cleaning results.
We can provide an estimate over the phone, however each customer has different expectations and it’s very important that we both understand the requirements of the full service. For example, a travertine floor might have lost its fillings and developed cracks over the years and there is a very large difference in price when quoting to repair these tiny imperfections. We wouldn’t want to scare our customers away by quoting a large price, when all they wanted was a clean and seal. And vice versa, we wouldn’t want to go in too low, only to find that our customer wanted a high-end result.
When first contacting us we always ask for pictures to be sent by email or WhatsApp, that way we can at least offer a guide price before making any further appointments.
If any part of our cleaning service does not meet your expectations and you inform us within 2 working days, we will re-clean the specific area free of charge. However every clean is inspected before leaving the premises and we do our best to avoid such circumstances. Our staff have regular performance reviews and they serve the best interest of the customer.
We ensure all our staff have DBS certificates and that they obtain professional training in order to follow the correct cleaning processes. To date we have been trained by three nationally-recognised stone restoration specialists and we have the support of hundreds of members who have been in the tile restoration industry for many years. For softer furnishings, we are also members of the National Carpet Cleaning Association and have been trained by Prochem and Woolsafe to clean natural fibres safely, and in such a way that the warranty can be maintained.
Stone Tile Restoration
Most natural stone can be polished to a honed (matt) finish or a shined finish, the only difference in the process is the final diamond pad that’s used during the restoration. We first clean the floor and remove scratches for you, then restore it to a honed finish before polishing it further to result in a high gloss surface. If you’re not sure about it, we can do a demonstration on a small area. If you decide that you don’t like the shine it will be easy enough to restore back to its original honed surface.
The length of time depends on whether the floor is honed or gloss. A honed floor of about 60 sqm can be completed in one day but depending on the type of stone, for example slate, we might need to visit a second day to examine the sealant. A gloss floor could take substantially longer because we need to polish the floor a few more times to achieve that mirror finish. Here is our process:
- Stripping of old sealant is not always required if we’re going to use diamond pads, however this process offers the best results when removing dirt from grout and tiny holes. The cleaning solution must be rinsed and vacuumed thoroughly before the next process.
- Filling of cracks and holes depends on the state of the floor and could take several hours.
- 200 to 400 grit diamond pads grind out the scuffed and damaged areas. For deep scratches we may use hand tools or decide to fill with resin instead of sanding out.
- 800 grit pad for honed finish and to smooth out the roughness of the 400 grit.
- 1500 grit pad for a satin finish.
- 3000 grit pad for a shiny finish.
- 5000 grit pad for a high gloss finish.
- Sealant application for a room could take one hour but requires 3 hours drying time and the floor must have a maximum of 5% moisture before we can apply it. Water-based sealants dry much faster but solvent sealers consist of smaller particles and can penetrate deeper into the small holes of the stone, offering long-lasting protection. However it’s important not to step on solvent-based sealer for at least 8 hours otherwise you’ll end up with footprints on your floor.
If you don’t want a full restoration with diamond pads, but only a strip and seal cleaning service, we can undertake this in one day. The process is the same as the restoration process above, skipping out the diamond pads. If required, we can also offer a partial restoration service such as sanding out acid spillages and light scuff marks without spending too much time on the deeper scratches. Most of our customers request this service for travertine and limestone tiles and they are always delighted with the results.
After cleaning the stone floor we can use an epoxy resin filler to fill cracks, holes and deep scratches. When the resin becomes hard we can sand it down to match the surface of the surrounding stone.
The average cost of polishing stone tiles can range from £20 to £50 per square meter. This depends on the state of the tiles and the final result required by our customer.
General scuff marks in high traffic zones, and damage caused by acidic spillages are relatively shallow and easy to repair.
The most expensive restoration process involves the replacement of grout, filling of cracks, holes or deep scratches. Some restoration may even require the removal of lippage. Processes such as these could take a few days to complete and should be done after the cleaning service but before the polishing service.
It is possible to restore a high gloss surface without first removing lippage, but not everybody knows how, and this is why we can offer the most competitive prices.
Lippage is caused when a tiler installs tiles in such a way that the edge of one tile is more than 1mm higher than its neighbouring tile. Although the difference in height might be insignificant to the home owner, it can ruin the materials used during a tile polishing service. The diamond pads that are used to restore the shine to stone floors are usually stiff discs made of resin that cannot bend when hitting the edge of a tile. The pad could crack, or, if a honing process is successful it’s most likely that the end result would produce an uneven polish, called the picture-framing effect, where the stiff disc was not able to reach the lower portion of the tiles.
For this reason many suppliers have started to manufacture softer sponge-type pads that are more flexible and can reach these lower sections of the tiles. However these types of pads don’t produce a mirror finish, instead they offer an orange-peel effect. It’s still a beautiful shiny result, but the clarity is not as vivid.
Because we, at Tile Cleaning Agents, have done extensive research and been trained by a variety of nationally renowned experts, we have discovered ways to overcome both of these challenges. Not only can we offer that mirror finish regardless of lippage, we can do it so much faster than most others in our industry.
So if you’ve wondered why our prices are competitive, it’s not because we forfeit quality, but rather because we’ve learned how to be efficient.
There is a range of different polishing tools available for professional stone restoration companies to choose from. What we choose depends on our training, our experience, the type of stone and your restoration requirements. Generally we use a wet restoration method with a 17″ diameter floor rotary machine attached to flexible diamond pads, hard resin discs and polishing powder. We may use a combination of these tools depending on the condition of your stone. We also use hand tools for smaller areas or to remove lippage.
It’s not only the diamond abrasives that determine the outcome of the stone, but it is especially the skill of the technician if encountering a challenge. So we understand if our customers might be a little hesitant when deciding who to select when investing in this service. For this reason we can offer a demonstration on a small section of the stone to show you what we can accomplish. The advantage of stone is that the tile is a relatively thick, so no matter what the outcome, it can always be restored to a different surface if the first attempt was not successful.
Please take a look at our reviews on Google and Checkatrade, or ask us for some picture examples or even a referral from a previous customer.
Not all porcelain tiles can be polished because there is often a thin layer of glazed print on the surface which could be entirely removed during the polishing process. We can only grind porcelain tiles that are full-bodied, which have a surface colour that has been baked throughout the tile. If we test a tile and find that it’s porcelain, we ask for the manufacturer’s details before any polishing can be undertaken. An example of a man-made tile that can be sanded is Encaustic because the colour throughout the tile is homogenous and will remain consistent throughout the sanding process.
Tilers usually apply a thin coat of sealant to the tiles before they lay them and it helps them to remove unwanted grouting haze, which is the messy part of installing tiles and can be very difficult to clean.
Sealant may be used by home owners who struggle to keep their grout lines clean, or who have a habit of spilling staining liquids such as wine, coffee, food or even mud that’s brought in from outside. Although the sealant does not stick to the smooth porcelain surface, it quite happily solidifies in the porous grout. Any liquid that falls on top can be wiped off without too much effort.
Because grout is the deepest part of the tile, dirt often settles in these grooves regardless of whether or not it has sealant. And sometimes the dirt might cling onto the sealant instead of soaking through to the porous grout (the purpose of the sealant) and the only way to remove the dirt is to remove the sealant too. So most tile cleaning services start by stripping anything that could be trapping dirt to the tiles. This stripper is a high alkaline solution and harmless to most tiles, even stone. Stripping solution is corrosive to wood and vinyl and should be kept well away from these softer furnishings.
Although tile cleaning companies cannot offer any guarantee on the sealants ability to keep tiles clean, impregnating sealant can be very expensive and the cost of applying these products is priced at half of the cleaning service.
So you can see there’s no harm in sealing porcelain tiles, it just depends on whether or not the customer would like to invest in something that might, or might not, work.
For more information on tile cleaning and sealing
call us at 01344 374671
text 07919 624005
For cleaning of porcelain and stone tiles we recommend using a branded neutral pH cleaning product that’s safe for marble. If it’s safe for marble, it’ll be safe for all types of hard floors. Use a very dilute solution which doesn’t normally require rinsing off afterwards. If a stronger solution must be used to remove stubborn greasy stains, be sure to rinse it off once the area is clean. To protect the tiles from scratches we recommend buying a fluffy flat mop that you can use to quickly zip around the room to remove sand particles. This shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes and should be fun for the whole family.
How many times have you cleaned the floor and yet it still seems cloudy from the mop residue? It’s a challenge but it can be done, here’s how:
- Sweep the floor with a fluffy flat mop and vacuum up the pile of dirt that’s swept to the side of the room.
- To mop the floor with a microfibre flat mop, use a dual bucket system: one bucket with a very dilute neutral pH cleaning solution and the other to rinse off the dirt from the mop before re-dipping it into the cleaning solution.
- If there is still a cloudy haze on the floor you can remove it with a high-speed rotary floor buffer and a white polishing pad. But not every household owns one of those because they’re expensive, take up a lot of space and aren’t always easy to use. Instead, you can use a dry microfibre flat mop to polish off the residue. The trick is to polish the cleaning solution residue off before it dries, so working in smaller areas with two mops (one wet and one dry) may produce better results. Good luck!
Grout haze is caused when installing new tiles and the grout residue remains on the surface. It can be really difficult to remove once it’s dry, but when it’s wet you can’t even see it. So what’s the easiest way to remove this grout haze? Well, we can’t really tell you because you may end up damaging your tiles, so give us a call and let the experts handle it for you.